Another Lovely Visit, and it's Getting Close to The Big Day ...

How lovely to have a little time out, Patrice, and to come and chat with y'all. Are things as hectic with all of you as it is here? I just don't have a minute, and even my poor blog is not seeing as much of me as it ought. 

I'm glad we're inside too. The days here are so dark. When it's raining and cloudy at this time of year, we really feel like it doesn't brighten up at all. The official sunset is at 3.30pm, but even around midday, we need the lights on. Never mind, warm homes, plenty of food, and good health... certainly no reason for moaning.

And so to your questions:

1. Where is your favourite place to think, reflect, or pray?

Well, every lunchtime, I go into our lounge, and sit in a very comfy chair in the corner. In summer, this corner will have had the sun all morning, so it's nice and warm. It's also close to the radiator in the room, so at this time of year, it's nice too. This hour is my hour, and the kids know not to come and fetch me unless someone is bleeding really badly, or the house (or garage!) is on fire.

This is when I read and pray - my quiet time. Although I pray in the mornings, I am much more relaxed during this hour, and am able to spend time in God's Word and in prayer.  

2. Did you believe in Santa as a kid?

No, I didn't, but I don't think any of the kids around me did either. I never remember it being an issue. When our own kids were young, they always knew the pressies came from us, but we had to warn them every winter not to dare say that to other kids. Parents would be absolutely irate and it's not my kids who'd get it... it'd be ME! Other mums scared me!

3. What's your favourite kind of Christmas cookie? You can add a recipe if you have time.

Is a 'cookie' a cookie? ... like a chocolate chip cookie, like this

...or are cookies any little biscuit-type-cakes?

I haven't, traditionally, had Christmas cookies, and muffins aren't something we normally do for breakfast over here, but I saw a wonderful recipe the other day for Breakfast muffins. I'm thinking they'll go down a treat at the holidays. The recipe is for Apple Muffins, and it can be found at Cooking for Seven's blog.

I can almost smell them through the screen. Apple and cinnamon ... Yum!

Oh, Wendell, I think you'd love them, so next week I'll bring some round for you. (And shhhh, don't tell anyone - I'm only gonna share them with you ;)

4. Did you grow up around any of your grandparents?

Both my Dad's parents lived until I was into my twenties, but my Mum's dad actually lived with us until he passed away when I was nine years of age. I've written about him already here. My every memory of him is precious, and even now, 35 years after his death, I tear up thinking of him. 

I absolutely. loved. him.

To young folks who have their grandparents, my advice would be to make as much use of them being there as possible. Speak to them. Ask them questions. Get to know them ... I mean really know them. Drag information out of them - remember they come from a generation which didn't blow their own trumpet, and that's why we have so few stories from their past. I never heard my Grampa talk of his years in the Great War; nor his years in New Zealand; nor even simply of his childhood. How I'd love to have these stories!

To those of you who are grandparents, my advice would be to be a grandparent, not a parent. Never go against the wishes of grandchildren's parents - that's a no-no - but at the same time, I reckon you can spoil them a bit. Sit with them. Read to them. Talk with them. Have fun with them. Their memories of their times with their grandparents will then never be forgotten. That's my experience anyway.

5. What's your favourite winter sport - skiing, skating, sledding, other? If you are in a warm place, what is your favourite winter sport to watch when the Winter Olympics are televised?

I think we qualify as a warm place! 

We don't get a lot of snow, so I'll have to answer this as I live vicariously through the lives of these madmen who zoom down mountainsides at crazy speeds. We love the Winter Olympics, but I spend half my viewing time squealing and screaming because of the dangers these guys are in. I think they're mad. Mad, but I love watching it (even if it is from behind part-covered eyes half the time!)

Well, once again, Patrice, thanks so much for our lovely visit. This time next week... oh, I don't even want to think of it. I know y'all will find it so hard to believe - me being the ultra-organised person I am - but I am so incredibly disorganised. Seriously. Even by my (very low) standards, this year is bad. Real bad.


  1. A cookies is a cookies, just as you have in the photo. Yum! I like your advice to grandparents and those who have grandparents. It's so easy to take people for granted. I think the advice also goes for parents and those who have parents who are still around. In a day and time when we are so connected to technology, I think it's important to have rich, loving relationships with our families. My sisters and I have tried to remember all of the wonderful stories from my mom.
    Have a wonderful week and know that you are not alone as you rush to get ready for Christmas!

  2. We weren't as close to our grandparents as I would have liked when I grew up. I think our kids were closer to our parents. I long to be a grandparent that my grandchildren love to have around.

    I never believed much about Santa Claus growing up either... but I did think that the animals could talk on Christmas Eve.. because of baby Jesus being born... I would wait until midnight to hear them talk; of course I finally had to fall asleep in disappointment Hehehe. We never tried to teach the kids Santa either even though we have always done the Christmas stockings.

    Hope you have a nice week; I'll be thinking of you cozy and snug in your home as it gets dark so early there.

    Much Love,

  3. I always love stopping by to "listen in" on your chat w/ Patrice. I love learning new things about blogging buddies. And similar things. I know exactly what you mean, dealing w/ the wrath of a mother who finds out your child revealed to their child that Santa does not exist. My eldest was on a quest to rescue as many children as she could from the lie. We had to quiet her down quickly. people are passionate about playing the Santa game w/ their children.

  4. So nice to join your chat! My Sarah read your post aloud to us last evening! It'd be much more fun to have you in the room w/ us....ah well, this will have to do!
    We don't do the Santa thing either...We've always just told our children it was a fun game people played...not sure why they didn't ask why we didn't play it...
    I agree w/ you about taking the opportunity to know grandparents..we live close to my parents now, and my dad spends time here gardening in the summer w/ our children. However, they only spend half of the year here - they travel to the Texas sunshine during the winter (I don't think it is officially dark at 3:30p here, but definately by 4:30 - only a week until the days begin getting longer!!! - not that I'm counting....).
    We have started taking trips to the San Francisco area to visit Gregg's mom several times a year - and really enjoy the time w/ her! We take only 2 of our kiddos at a time - they get a chance to visit a bit more that way!
    I love that you have a place you go each day to be w/ the Lord. Talk about a good memory for your children to have! - what a wonderful picture that is for them!
    Have a lovely day!

  5. Loved what you wrote about your Grandfather and link back to your previous post about him.
    My Mother-in-law lives with us and our little ones are very close to her. I need to get them to listen to more of her stories.

  6. I recently found your blog and am enjoying it so much. I'm a former home schooling mom who survived and thrived (the kids too!) and often miss those days.
    When I saw that you live on an island in Scotland my heart squeezed inside for my maternal grandparents and family were all from the Orkneys. How much I would love to touch down there to see the world they came from.

    My grandpa died when I was nine and though he was quite stoic and occasionally gruff, I loved him very much. Apparently I held a soft spot in his heart (so my mom told me later!) for we got along famously.

    Now that I'm a grandma and a long-distance one at that, I feel sad that I can't have that closeness with my grandchildren that proximity offers. But for now, that is God's plan and I continue to trust that He will help me love them from afar.

    Blessings from California!



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